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Hello, Mr Tan

Remember me?

https://i0.wp.com/328744392.r.worldcdn.net/images/stories/new2/carol3/bersihrallygirl.jpg

“Mr Tan: Today, a year later, I don’t feel less unsafe like this on the street. Thank you for your offer of the safety of a stadium; but no thanks. No, you keep it. It ought to be big enough to contain the family of Barisan shit you throw up so regularly.” — Bersih Girl

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Dear Mr Tan Keng Liang:

Greetings Mr Tan. Remember me? ‘Bersih girl’, the one with the midriff you like so much.

Do you know how many people looked in at that time, in that single day? 49,393. Can you believe that? Just one word from you and everybody wants to look at my navel. Or, maybe it isn’t the tummy Perhaps, it is you — famous man that you are, influential lawyer and all, with those nice molars that stick out of every photo and every time you open your mouth.

I recall somebody talking behind my back at the time, that you could sue me because I said something about your mother. But it’s been a year since. They say time heals but I have done no healing. Can’t we at least talk this over? You know, negotiate? What do you want from me in return? Naughty boy. You got lots of imagination sitting between your ears — like that time when you say, ‘fight 4 country’ or ‘see girl’. Why must it be mutually exclusive? Can’t it be both? Or neither.

My boyfriend nearly exploded that time when the photo was circulated. But he’s out of my life now; lousy temper he has.

You got girl friend? Wife? Mistress? Or both? Does your mother know what you do during office hours? That is, beside sending out tweets and writing Press Statements. You seem very busy. BTW, after you write a Press Statement, I imagine you send it to the newspapers. But, who are you actually speaking to? I ask because the Bersih people seem to have no ears for you. Or, you didn’t know.

A Statement (bottom) I came across the other day was signed, Tan Keng Liang. That’s you right? Not an impostor I trust. If not, my writing this would be like howling in the wind. Which brings me to the reason for this letter: it is to thank you for not posting my photo again, which doesn’t help me in modeling. I am going to be out of it anyway, if they don’t double my fees; the present rates can’t even cover taxi fare. So again, thank you; if that photo shows up again, my laptop will go up in smoke from all that traffic.

https://i.imgur.com/OQqwi.jpg

Now, back to your Statement.

You begin by saying, ‘Recently, we notice (sic) a group of people who call themselves as Bersih...’ What do you mean, recently noticed? A group? Who call themselves Bersih? You make it sound like you just heard of the name and that for the first time they had popped out of nowhere. The last time, there were something like 50,000 on the streets, or 60,000. I forget. How is it you only recently noticed? You even talked about it then — in 2015, remember? — although you said nothing about this group actually cleaning up the streets after the demonstration. Did you see any ‘private and public properties damaged‘ at the time? That was Bersih 4; my girl friend (above) was there and she saw nothing of what you said. Remember the girl standing in front of all those cops? She stole my show. It’s not fair; I’m the real Bersih girl; she is the impostor! Yet all those photographers were ogling at her.

Anyway, in your statement, you referred only to Bersih 2, which was four years ago, and then on my mobile I see that you showed photos of people in yellow shirts beating up a car. In doing all that, you are maligning my name Bersih. Does that mean I can sue you because, if so, we are even. I wasn’t there at Bersih 2; were you? If nobody was charged for causing ‘chaos and violence‘, how then do you know those are the Bersih ‘group of people‘? That was your inference. Maybe they switched from red to yellow shirts. These days you never can tell. You know those Red Shirt people? They are your friends, aren’t they? How is it I never see you stop them and their ‘chaos and violence‘? Big man that you are, why don’t you go right up to them and take them on. Better yet, post yourself outside Low Yat. One of these days they will show up again and then we’ll see what you’re made of.

This is the thing Mr Tan: you speak with a forked tongue through the holes of your molars. May I please suggest you have your front tooth extracted. That way you will hiss better; you know, like a snake. Asshole.

Sincerely yours,

Bersih Girl

Postscript

Come to your senses, Mr Tan. Come to Bersih 5. Will you?

In case you are wondering: I am undecided. There could be a modelling assignment on that day. But, if you are going to be present I just might turn up: you know, shake hands, say Hi. That’s all. If not, a girl friend of mine (below) will surely go; she’s excited about it and says, meijianguo 没见过. Can you look at her and say with a straight tongue (if you have one) whether she is likely to stir up ‘chaos and violence’?

One other thing. Bersih people, I am told, aren’t interested to ‘seize’ Putrajaya. What’s there anyway? Palaces of gold? American bonds? Hermes bags? And so what? Come to think of it, you are really stupid, Mr Tan. Why don’t you give up lawyering and become a snake oil salesman. It really suits you.

Meet the future Bersih Girl, my colleague and Bersih successor…

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towkayliang

 

It’s Najib, Kadir Jasin…

the Zacko Mohds Above All

Thoughts Under a Palm Tree

Like us perhaps, you would never have thought to see such comments from a Malay, not the Anglophile sort though, but the Melayu beneath the kampung palm. He is the Melayu looking into the setting sun horizon, a mind without fancy theoretical arguments, without bigotry nor spite. He thinks in plain language.

The following, under the title ‘bukan isu bangsa atau agama‘, is from Pak Pandir. He first lays out the nature of the problem:

Pendirian rasmi ialah:- Kerajaan akan berkerjasama dengan DOJ Amerika dalam memburu sesiapa yang melakukan salahlaku dan, akhirya, pencurian.

Tapi kita tahu jentera najib berkerja 24 jam 7 hari 12 bulan, menukar isu pendedahan dan langkah oleh DOJ Amerika kepada isiu:-

  • Inilah adalah serangan politik yang keterlaluan keatas 1MDB dan Malaysia
  • Inilah adalah konspirasi Yahudi yang memegang jawatan2 tertinggi Amerika
  • Inilah campur-tangan dalam hal ehwal dalaman Malaysia
  • Inilah adalah konspirasi keatas bangsa Melayu
  • Ini adalah konspirasi keatas negara Malaysia.
  • ini konspirasi keatas Islam.
  • Najib bukan Malaysian Official 1. Najib tidak bersalah. Tidak ada pun nama Najib keluar.

Then Pak Pandir compares those streams of arguments to one Tan Seng Giaw; it is to demonstrate how the fallacies in them are rooted in the failure of people even like Tan, a medical doctor after all, to think more deeply, just a little:

Yang akhir sekali ialah line argument bodoh seperti diguna oleh MP Tan Seng Giaw- PAC tidak menamakan Najib, maka Najib tidak bersalah. Bingung punya MP.

Several paragraphs later, he reaches the penultimate point suggested in his article title:

Yang disiasat sekarang dan yang berdepan dengan pertuduhan mencuri wang, memindahkan wang secara haram ialah bukan negara Malaysia tapi individu2 dari Malaysia. Kerja AG malaysia bukan mempertahankan individu2 ini. hanya jika Malaysia sebagai negara terlibat, maka dia ada peranan.

AG Malaysia melindungi crook. AG Amerika memburu crook2 seperti Low teik Jho dan rakan2, Riza Aziz dan rakan2, Khadem Al Qubaisi dan rakan2 dan Badawi al Husseiny dan rakan2.

Semua yang terlibat akan di dakwa jika kemudian nya ada kes jenayah, akan berdepan dengan pendakwaan jenayah. Malaysian Official 1 yang semua orang tahu, tidak lain dan tidak bukan adalah PM Najib juga akan didakwa jika melakukan kesalahan. Semua, tidak kira bangsa dan agama.

Jika kita tankap shahrol azral dan Najib Tun Razak, kita bukan tangkap Melayu. Kita tangkap shahrol dan Najib. Jika kita tankap Jho Low, kita bukan tangkap Cina tapi seorang yang bernama Jho Low. Kita hendak tangkap Eric Tan, bukan bangsa Cina. Kalau kita tangkap Arul Kanda, kita bukan tangkap India, tapi tankap seorang dari bangsa itu.Kalau kita tangkap Khadem Qubaisy dan Badawy Husseini, kita tangkap 2 individu , bukan bangsa Arab.

Kita tangkap crooks.

Arriving at morality and the part of Islam, Pak Pandir strums his point to a pitch: ‘we have to look at ourselves‘ he suggests. The responsibility of Malaysia needs to be returned to the person — not the Rakyat, that’s too abstract, meaningless therefore and, besides, some classes of people have never been regarded as Rakyat but pendatang. The responsibility of Malaysia has to be returned to the individual. For too long, political leaders and muftis have been telling us how to live, what to think, what to have and have not. It’s time we master our destiny, seize it in our hands.

Jika kita menuntut mediocrity, itulah yang kita dapat. Kalau kita demand, competency, integrity, honest leaders, kita akan dapat itu semua.

Adakah ini serangan keatas Islam? Jawapan nya tidak. In serangan keatas rasuah, pencurian, salah laku, kemungkaran. Ia dituntut oleh Islam.

Kepada ustaz2 yang membei gelaran keatas diri mereka- tok guru, murabbi, dan apa2 lah saya hendak ingatkan.

Kebenaran itu tidak datang dari timur atau barat lagi. Ianya datang dari dalam diri kita sendiri. kalau kita muliakan dan mendahulukan tuhan, kebenaran itu terbentuk jika kita benar2 muliakan hubungan kita dengan tuhan.

At this critical juncture in Malaysian history — that is, more than ever before — introspection is required. It’s to be critical within ourselves:

Maka jangan menipu rakyat jelata dengan menolak kebenaran itu kerana ianya dimulakan di Amerika. Amerika tidak berminat hendak berkonspirasi dengan Malaysia.

Malaysia sudah teruk. Dia ianya diterukkan oleh pemimpin yang rasuah, mencuri duit rakyat dan menzalimi mereka.  Ia teruk jika kita orang Islam kufur, yakni menolak nilai2 tinggi yang Allah perintah kita lakukan.

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Now compare those lines with a sample of passages from Kadir Jasin (above) in Fight Kleptocracy or Democracy is Dead:

1. …While the 1.4 million over Malaysians who had so far signed the Deklarasi Rakyat take note of the lawsuit by the DoJ to recover US$1 billion worth of assets from the kleptes (thieves), we must not rely on foreign governments to act on our behalf. We must do much more on our own.

2. We are a sovereign nation and free people. We must not surrender our sovereignty to others.

3. Also it is dangerous to rely on foreign governments, especially the US. They can capitulate. They could be bribed and lobbied.

Haven’t you come across those same platitudinous lines before? Don’t they choke on your mind? Contradicting Pak Pandir’s reasoning is one part, but what else is wrong with those passages? Here, below, is a rebuttal from one of Kadir’s readers named sakasamasuka:

1. I used to believe that Datuk…in all my heart.

2. I also know Datuk is a good man…and, that statement above, is an expression of your hope….

3. But, this IS NOT about what Datuk is hoping for in this nation…and, it also not about what I used to believe either.

4. I am sorry to say that the statement “We are a sovereign nation and free people. We must not surrender our sovereignty to others.” is as empty as a broken vessel.

5. We lost this nation…her sovereignty…her moral values…her right to exist…the very moment when other nations tell us, right on our faces, what we did is simply not acceptable any longer by the very minimum of human decency and civility. The American people tell us rather softly and nicely that the behaviors of the “Malaysian Official 1” is no longer tolerable.

7. We have surrendered our sovereignty to others because our institutions are broken and failed. Period. … [Are] the American people the cause of our predicament?

Sukasamasuka ends his rhetorical question this way:

Having say that, ONLY the US Department of Justice, the FBI and the IRS can do the job of cleaning the 1MDB, no two way about it.

8. To the American people, thank you very much for looking up to us little man on the street…thank you …!

Under the weight of that rebuttal Kadir comes away as an old-line school of thought that, along with Mahathir Mohamad, had been instrumental in cultivating a xenophobic, racist, nationalist, and a debilitating NEP entitlement culture to the detriment of the Melayu then giving birth to a thing we now despise. It’s call Najib Razak. The lines below are from yet another Kadir reader:

This is the failure of NEP. [It] created the mindset of entitlement. That the coffers of the country is the ATM for Melayu. The father invented NEP, the son steals the money.

Kadir’s old school mind, the same class of 1981, is found in the argument from Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (another thief); there is really no distinction between them:

Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil today stated that the movement rejects all efforts by certain quarters to take the opportunity of using foreign powers and the recent scandal involving alleged money laundering in 1MDB, to topple Malaysia’s democratically elected government.

“The consequences of such tactics will get out of hand, just as what occurred to Iraq and Syria, which in the end not only invited conflict but also prolonged civil war,” she cautioned in her statement today.

Kadir is, of course, a member of the core team headed by Mahathir to Save Malaysia. To Save Malaysia from just Najib? But, Najib, as Shahrizat reflects so well, is like Kadir, sharing perhaps the same DNA even, so that after saving the country is it returned to yet more Kadirs? To the same old political and social culture that has today brought this country to its knees?

No, never again, Kadir! Your types have had their shot at it, and see what it got us? More of your kind. Your generation fucked it up. Now step aside. Make way, you are choking up Malaysia’s life lines. Enough of the like of him: He thinks ineffectually and is as deluded as the dedak eaters of Najib.

There has never been a better opportunity than today to sort out everything once and for all, to pick from the lessons of the past and to unite all, from the Melayu cities and Chinese suburbs to the Indian plantations and the misty Penan jungles of Sarawak, and that our destinies are inseparable from each other. Only then will Malaysia be truly sovereign and truly free. All else is just so much of Kadiran claptrap.

 

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What’s Wrong with the DOJ Actions

Najib in the Bag. Apandi to the Rescue

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One of the curious things about the American action by the Department of Justice is this: They have so much of detail into 1MDB’s money trail — down to names, dates, account numbers and so on — yet they didn’t start with crime, not of embezzlement, not of conspiracy to defraud, not money laundering. Nothing.

On the contrary, they took the easiest route — seizing property and other assets on the notional fear that money might simply vanish, that is spent and therefore irrecoverable. In their words, ‘dissipated’. This is a weak excuse; it has been more than five years since the 1MDB embezzlement, USD3.5 bn says the DOJ; and, four years since Wolf of Wall Street screened in cinemas and its USD400 million proceeds taken out. A civil suit cannot act retroactively, therefore cannot touch anything not physically available. If money is to be spent, they have been spent; it’s only that people couldn’t spent so much so quickly.

On the other hand, both criminal and civil actions could have been launched simultaneously, one case supporting the other. Where the defendants cannot be found quickly, or made available in court, any one of them, in particular Jho Low or Badawy al-Husseiny, the latter an American national, could first appear in the trial; others pending, Interpol red alerts issued. It is not as if they don’t have an address to reach Najib bin Abdul Razak with a subpoena.

Regardless of the efficacy of either route, the curiosity isn’t in the whys of prosecution, that is, methods, but in the ultimate result. That is, the consequences arising thereof.

So what if the DOJ gets back a billion dollars? 1MDB squandered more than USD10 bn and that was years ago. Malaysia is still around.

Here’s another of DOJ’s rationale for its civil suit: It is so that America does not become a playground for thieves, and to deter the like of Najib. But America isn’t the only playground in the world nor is it the only one available.

Malaysia, the Opposition political parties in particular, should therefore cease to be jubilant over DOJ’s actions, present or future. Similarly, to gloat over the announcements by Singapore. These make sensational headlines, but they don’t necessarily convict. And if they can’t convict, and the persons jailed are merely the ikan bilis, then Mahathir Mohamad is back to where he started. With nothing, assuming his intentions are noble.

Moreover, as robust as are the 1MDB investigations, American judges presiding over such a case would be equally demanding from the prosecution: Yes, money went from an 1MDB account into the fraudulent Aabar BVI. Days later, some crook got from Aabar more than USD100mn, then Tanore in Singapore a billion or so and then Najib. What one sees are a series of transactions, one following the next. From this series, one can infer that money was stolen by Najib passing several channels, starting with the USD bonds, ending at Tanore and Tan Kim Loong alias Eric Tan.

But that’s all there is to it — inference.

Where is the evidence of causality — the proof — that Najib’s USD681mn is the US bond money 1MDB had raised with the help of Goldman Sachs. Where’s the proof that USD681 mn actually, and without a doubt, belongs to 1MDB? Even if Eric Tan confesses in the Singapore trials — ‘yes, I wired money to Najib’s account; yes, I knew who is Najib‘ — but where is the proof the money belongs to 1MDB. Arul Kanda, 1MDB president, isn’t going to say it.

Works of art and real estate are even harder as the means to establish their originating source of funds.

Unlike the theft of a car or the kidnap of a human child, embezzlement has no object that verifies its own existence, hence its theft. It relies very much on the confession of the thief and they are so many thieves who in point of fact are simply the middlemen: Jho Low, the Aabar brothers, Eric Tan. Three persons named by the DOJ had been in 1MDB’s employment; and they are most at risk of jail. But Riza Aziz? He is only the beneficiary of the theft; he didn’t steal from 1MDB. Did he? Najib might be considered the ultimate thief, but the layering of the theft, from the moment money is wired out of 1MDB, passing through numerous banks then reaching his person, although is identifiable by two accounts in AmBank, still makes nebulous the problem of causality. Hence of conviction.

The DOJ appears to show that Malaysian Official 1 — Najib — has been caught with the loot. But who is to say, the loot, after the passage of time and through numerous hands, belongs to 1MDB. Without that certainty, there is no conviction. Without a conviction Najib stays.

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All this explains two main threads in the responses to the DOJ announcements.

  • First, solid evidence. Attorney General Apandi Ali’s (above left) remarks:

There has been no evidence from any investigation conducted by any law enforcement agencies in various jurisdictions which shows that money has been misappropriated from 1MDB.

His words seem ludicrous (to Lim Kit Siang and Tony Pua) only because they aren’t precise and the meaning therefore unclear. But the meaning is straightforward: Where is the proof 1MDB money has been stolen? Without that evidence, no loot can be presume to exist? Without a loot, what points USD681 mn to 1MDB, a pointing made so far and purely on the basis of a sequential series of transactions, any of which Najib has no part and these are far removed from his person. True, sequence builds a set of incriminating circumstances. They constitute the smoking gun, but that’s all — a gun with smoke.

All of which is to say, there exists a plot, beginning to end, but nothing to establish that in Najib’s account is the loot, much less belonging to 1MDB. Herein is the ultimate problem: 1MDB, like the government, is itself the thief, not the victim, which must be made to acknowledge that money indeed has been stolen from it. Hence, one comes across 1MDB’s statement issued simultaneously with Apandi’s: ‘we see nothing missing; we have lost nothing‘.

One is back to the circularity of the problem in nailing Najib, as described in earlier paragraphs and in the DOJ’s choice of methods.

  • Second, the victim. This concerns Hishammuddin Hussein’s remarks. It is most revealing when he says, ‘don’t politicize, don’t suffer the innocent.’ He is saying in effect that the DOJ actions make for good political fodder by the Opposition parties, but such fodder aims at the wrong person. Inverse this way of reasoning, Hisham is saying, perhaps Najib is the victim not the perpetrator of 1MDB’s fraud.

Such an argument is, in point of fact, emotive, which goes as deep into as Najib’s character, therefore far more elaborate than Apandi’s legal position. It appears to go like this, and it begins from the beginning.

True, several people close to Najib, including those who managed the company, have conspired to defraud 1MDB. In the initial Stage 1, 2009-2012 (DOJ: the Good Star phase), they filched the money, spent it as they pleased. There was his wife’s son after all; Najib would have trusted that he wouldn’t do bad things. Furthermore, 1MDB had to do with many people he knew in person: the Saudis, Riza, Jho Low, one turkey, and so on. What’s there not to trust among friends?

After that another group came in, this time Stage 2, i.e., the Aabar BVI phase. They, too, would betray him. And Najib, unaware of that which went on earlier, and nice man that he is, signed the papers, and again left all the work to these ‘co-conspirators’ (DOJ’s word). That is, Sharol Halmi et al. This time, unlike the Good Star phase, they deliberately entangled him into their fraud by shoving USD1 bn into his account. This was why he returned USD650 mn of the USD681 mn. Even so, there would be no escape for Najib. The donor story and others were constructed to cover his ass, of course, but what choice had he? If prosecutors nail the 1MDB employees, they will surely pass on all the blame to the boss, Najib, instead. Can he allow that to happen? Should he?

Such a story seem to make sense because it has a natural human feel to it. But is it believable? One has only Najib’s word for it, no one else. Then there are all the lies, his and those of his henchmen. Here is the other problem: Hisham can’t go public with it. Najib has lied once too often. Besides, that story still doesn’t get him off the hook: If he can’t even tell a thief from fraudster, why is he even prime minister? Can’t he read? Is he illiterate?

Effectively, Najib is in a corner, back to the wall; no exit door, jail waiting, and all he has to count on today is Apandi Ali. He must go back to a legal defense.

The others, that coterie of henchmen singing the same song every day, have their uses even if their contributions are minimal so that if they let the politics of 1MDB meshed in with the law, it is no loss to Najib. Or, maybe not.

Hisham’s argument is a little too late and too little; the politics of 1MDB has long overtaken the legal defense. His plea for Najib as victim ignores, or asks us to ignore, the man’s other cruelties, thefts and dictatorship style: Scorpene, Altantuya’s murder, Kevin Morais, Teoh Beng Hock, ISIS, JAIS, Jakim, Red Shirts, the sacking of Muyhiddin Yassin and others, GE13 bribes, National Security Council, and so on. 1MDB has assumed a life of its own, now crawling around the world. Someone made that thief; and it takes a thieving character such as Najib’s to create or permit to create such a thing. Whichever way one looks at it, he must go.

If legal technicalities can’t convict that man, then let politics remove him.

Fresh background: The article farther below was lifted in its entirety from Hollywood Reporter.

Left to right, Riza Aziz (or in the FBI words, ‘relative of Malaysian Official 1‘, MoF1), Leonardo DiCaprio and Jho Low. Note in the article below the events of 2013, Jul 22 then 2014 April. All that was more than a year before WSJ and Sarawak Report busted open the case.

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Instead of 1MDB Heist, it’s now titled the Wolf of Wall Street Corruption Scandal. Naturally, there’s the same hedonist culture: Malaysia kampung boys also wanting in, deep into it and not just Armani suits, looking good and famous, walking along Geneva, fresh Alpine air, New York clubs, Las Vegas, smelling French …. Life turns to art — a motion picture — for inspiration. These were Najib’s boys.

Here was their problem: they had to buy, to pay to get into that sub-culture, and it wasn’t cheap. Their entry ticket into it, the Wolf of Wall Street cost more than USD100 million, total ringgit 600 million. A Monet painting alone, USD35 mn. Where to get that money? How? Certainly it wasn’t greed alone. There was something else to it.

Other reports:

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Monet’s Nympheas avec Reflets de Hautes Herbes, USD35 million, bought on a billion dollar bank loan; had they even thought of repaying the money they would use?

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From the Hollywood Reporter

The Wolf of Wall Street Timeline

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How the meeting of two well connected Malaysian teenagers in the U.K. ignited an international money-laundering scandal that swept into Hollywood, sucked in its hottest star and led to the biggest Department of Justice asset seizure in history.

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Since the Department of Justice filed the biggest forfeiture complaint in U.S. history on Wednesday, much of the film industry and beyond has come to understand how Leonardo DiCaprio and his hit 2013 biographical comedy The Wolf of Wall Street have become engulfed in a major embezzlement scandal alleged to involve billions of dollars.

But few might appreciate that the whole story started almost two decades earlier, back when a baby-faced DiCaprio was still basking in the post-Titanic “Leo-Mania” limelight and two Malaysian teenagers were sent to boarding school in the U.K.

Here’s THR‘s look at the chronology of corruption.

1998
A 17-year-old Jho Taek Low (now 35), otherwise known as Jho Low and the third child of Malaysian businessman Larry Low, is sent to the private school of Harrow in the U.K. to study for his A-levels (the U.K. equivalent of the SAT). It is here where he meets Riza Aziz, the stepson of rising Malaysian politician Najib Razak. Aziz, according to Low, was studying at “a nearby school.”

2000
Low leaves Harrow and heads to the venerable Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he would graduate in 2005 with a BSc Economics, majoring in finance.

2008
After graduating from the London School of Economics in 2000, Aziz is reported to have worked at KMPG and then at HSBC’s London base from 2005 as a low-level banker. But the financial crash of 2007-2008 sees him leave the company.

April 3, 2009
Having become deputy prime minister in 2004, Razak is sworn in as Malaysian prime minister following the resignation of Abdullah Badawi, who had seen his government lose its two-thirds majority in the 2008 general election.

April 8, 2009
Low is appointed official advisor to the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), a sovereign wealth fund established to manage the oil revenue from the Malaysian state of Terengganu. The Justice Department alleges that he had actually been involved in establishing the fund earlier in the year, with the assistance of Goldman Sachs.

July 2009
Prime minister Razak transforms the TIA into a federal entity, in September changing its name to 1MDB, the 1Malaysia Development Berhad. Its mission is to create “sustainable economic development by forging strategic global partnerships and promoting foreign direct investment.”

August 2009
Low reportedly hires Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s super-yacht, Tatoosh, and invites Razak, his wife (and Aziz’s mother) Rosmah Mansor and Prince Turki and Tarek Obaid, two Saudi royals who had set up U.K.-based business PetroSaudi International (PSI), for a meeting in St. Tropez. The French Riviera would become a regular backdrop for the scandal.

September 2009
1MDB and PSI form a joint venture whose stated purpose was to look at energy rights in Turkmenistan and Argentina. 1MDB pours $1 billion of public Malaysian money into the venture, however $700 million is immediately siphoned off as a “loan repayment” into an account held by shell company called Good Star Ltd., based in the Seychelles and controlled by Low. At the time, Low has no official position with 1MDB or PSI.

The same month and now flush with money, Low hits the U.S. club scene. The New York Post describes him as an “international man of mystery” after he racks up a $160,000 bar bill at nightspot Avenue during September’s New York Fashion Week. In October, he reportedly turns up at Lindsay Lohan’s 23rd birthday, sending 23 bottles of Cristal champagne to the actress at the 1OAK club in Las Vegas, a city where a month later he’d throw himself a lavish birthday bash. He’d top this with a notorious party in Vegas in 2012, a secretive event that featured a firework-strewn performance by Britney Spears, dwarf oompa loompas and celebrity guests including Kanye West, Jamie Foxx, Paris Hilton and Leonardo DiCaprio. By 2012, however, DiCaprio was already a regular fixture at Low’s side.

Early 2010
Low starts enhancing his property portfolio with luxury real estate in New York and California. Among his first purchases are a $24 million apartment in the Park Laurel condominiums in Manhattan and a $17.5 million mansion in Beverly Hills. Both were bought via shell companies and later sold to Aziz, according to the Justice Department.

February 2010
Low sets up his personal Jynwell Capital investment fund in Hong Kong with his older brother Szen Low. The fund was later used to control various assets in the U.S., including the luxury L’Ermitage hotel in Beverly Hills, bought for $44.8 million, according to the Justice Department. Low would later claim Jynwell was set up as an advisory company for his family’s legacy assets.

July 2010
DiCaprio and Hilton are among a group Low flies to South Africa to watch the soccer World Cup. Also invited is Joey McFarland, Hilton’s celebrity booker and party planner. Later that month, Hilton is spotted in St. Tropez with Szen Low, where the Malaysian sibling reportedly took part in a $2.2 million champagne-ordering competition at Les Caves du Roy nightclub.

September 2010
Aziz establishes Red Granite Pictures in Los Angeles, with McFarland installed as partner and vice chairman. It would eventually set up office in the same Sunset Boulevard building as DiCaprio’s Appian Way.

May 2011
1MDB sends another $330 million to its joint venture with PSI, money which — according to banned Malaysian publication The Edge — was wired directly to Low’s shell company Good Star.

May 9, 2011

Red Granite poaches a trio of industry veterans from Avi Lerner’s Millennium/Nu Image banner; Danny Dimbort and Christian Mercuri to head up international sales and Joe Gatta to become head of production, overseeing the film slate.

May 11, 2011
The Wolf of Wall Street is announced. Just eight months after being established, Red Granite throws a spectacular launch party at the Cannes film festival, where it would launch the long-gestating $100 million film. Low, Aziz and DiCaprio would attend the million-dollar bash, at which Kanye West and Jamie Foxx sang “Gold Digger” on stage.

The film is acquired from Warner Bros. Despite winning the rights to develop Jordan Belfort’s memoir with DiCaprio’s Appian Way in 2007, it had stalled at the studio due to the R-rated content. THR understands that several parties were interested in picking up the project, but it was DiCaprio who ensured his friends at Red Granite came away with the contract.

July 2011
Low makes his splashiest property purchase yet, paying $31 million to a tech entrepreneur for the 4,825-square-foot Time Warner Center penthouse in New York overlooking Central Park, previously occupied by Jay-Z and Beyonce. At over $6,400 per square foot, the deal is the highest ever at the luxury condominium tower.

May 2012
Goldman Sachs, which had been looking to expand into Asia’s emerging markets, issues the first round of bonds for 1MDB. $3.5 billion is raised via two bonds of $1.75 billion issued in May and September, with the money set to go towards purchasing power plants. The bonds were guaranteed by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign petro wealth fund IPIC, run by Khadem al-Qubaisi, whom Low is reported to have met on the U.S. club scene in Vegas in 2010.

In exchange for this guarantee, 1MDB says it paid IPIC approximately $1.37 billion, more than 40 percent of the net proceeds raised. However, IPIC later said it never received this money. Instead, it is transferred to a British Virgin Islands-registered corporation called Aabar Investments PSJ, which bares a similar name to Aabar, a subsidiary of IPIC (and also run by Al-Qubaisi). The new Aabar Investments PSJ had Al-Qubaisi and his CEO at the Abu Dhabi-based Aabar, Mohamed Al-Husseiny (more on him later), as directors.

Both IPIC and Aabar later asserted that Aabar Investments PSJ was not owned by either entity.

For its work in arranging the bond offering and underwriting the notes, Goldman Sachs was to be paid a total of $192.5 million, roughly 11 percent of the principal amount, which is considered an unusually high commission.

June 2012
Money starts flowing out of the fake Aabar account. Among the various transfers made are more than $472 million the DoJ alleges went to accounts controlled by Al-Qubaisi, $66 million to accounts of Al-Husseiny and $238 million sent in three bunches between June and November 2012 to a Singapore bank account belonging to Red Granite Capital, owned by Aziz. $94.3 million of this money is alleged to have been used to fund luxury real estate, including Low’s previously-mentioned properties in Beverly Hills and New York and a luxury London mansion near Buckingham Palace, which was bought through a shell company for $33 million. A further $64 million of the money received by Red Granite Capital went to set up Red Granite Pictures and was directed into the film production company’s account at City National Bank.

July 2012
DiCaprio, Low, McFarland and Low go gambling in Vegas. The DoJ alleges that $13 million is deposited into accounts at the Venetian Casino from the fake Aabar money sent to Aziz’s Red Granite Capital account. Low reportedly gambles for seven days from July 10, while on July 15, he is joined by Aziz, McFarland and, according to the DoJ, “a lead actor in The Wolf of Wall Street.” Sources tell THR that The Wolf of Wall Street director Martin Scorsese is invited on the gambling trip but turns the offer down.

August 2012
Production on The Wolf of Wall Street kicks off in New York.

November 2012
As a 38th birthday present, Low and Red Granite spend a reported $600,000 to buy DiCaprio the best actor Oscar statuette won by Marlon Brando in 1953 for On the Waterfront. More is splashed at a party thrown for the actor, where Red Granite execs reportedly rack up a bill of over $1 million on a competition to see who could order the most champagne. Speaking to THR, a source described the night as “pure debauchery.”

March 2013
Less than a year after issuing two bonds worth $3.5 million, 1MDB issues a third Goldman Sachs-underwritten bond for $3 billion, this time for a new joint venture with Aabar in Abu Dhabi, with al-Qubaisi the director of the new entity. 1MDB claims the capital raised is to be investment in “high-impact projects like energy and strategic real estate.” However, much like before, $1.26 billion is diverted into unrelated overseas shell accounts, alleges the Justice Department, including one known as the ‘Tanore Account,’ set up by Eric Tan, a close association of Low.

June 2013
Red Granite picks up the production rights to another long-gestating project, Dumb and Dumber sequel Dumb and Dumber To, which it will finance.

July 15 2013
Red Granite files a lawsuit against Dumb and Dumber producers Brad Krevoy and Steve Sabler, seeking to exclude them from involvement as producers on the sequel. The two assert that their contract from the original production says they are to be involved in any remake or sequel.

July 22, 2013
Krevoy and Sabler file counterclaims against Red Granite, asserting that “no one in Hollywood will trust” McFarland and Aziz in the future and that their experience in the cinema industry consisted of “cavorting at nightclubs with Paris Hilton.”

November 2013
Low and McFarland attend DiCaprio’s 39th star-studded birthday party at the Tao Downtown and are reported to be among those buying large quantities of champagne. The proceeds from the mark-up on the champagne are donated to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which raises $3 million from the event.

December 17, 2013
DiCaprio, Low, Aziz and McFarland attend The Wolf of Wall Street world premiere in New York. The film is released wide on December 27, earning $18.4 million on its opening weekend and reaching the fifth spot. Although it would bring in only $117 million domestically, its dazzling international haul of $275 million would push it to $392 million, making the film Scorsese’s top grossing title of all time by February 2014.

January 12, 2014
At the Golden Globes ceremony, DiCaprio wins for best performance in a musical or comedy. On stage, he thanks Low, Aziz and McFarland for “being not only collaborators, but taking a risk on this movie.”

January 16, 2014
The Wolf of Wall Street is nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture, best actor and best director, yet fails to win a single one at the March 2 ceremony.

April 2014
Krevoy and Sabler amend their original lawsuit against Red Granite regarding the Dumb and Dumber sequel to claim that the company had committed racketeering. “Red Granite is funded with monies that include proceeds from offenses against a foreign nation that involve bribery of public officials, or misappropriation, theft, or embezzlement of public funds by a public official,” it asserted, the first time Red Granite was linked openly with corruption in Hollywood.

June 2014
Low takes delivery of his biggest purchase to date, the 300-foot super-yacht Equanimity. Reported to have cost $125 million, the boat comes complete with a spa, gym, sauna, Turkish bath and pool, plus nine staterooms that can accommodate up to 26 guests.

July 2014
Red Granite requests that racketeering allegations be dismissed from Krevoy and Sabler’s lawsuit, and the case is settled, with both sides reaching a confidential agreement.

August 2014
In an interview with the New York Times that came amid growing questions about Red Granite’s financing, Aziz asserted that its principal investor was Al-Husseiny, the CEO of Aabar (and director of Aabar Investments PJS), and that the company’s previous silence regarding the matter was because Al-Husseiny didn’t want to be solicited by other producers. “I have known Riza for many years and have done business with Red Granite Pictures since its inception,” Al-Husseiny said in a statement.

November 2014
Universal releases Dumb and Dumber To in the U.S. Despite poor reviews, the comedy sequel would gross over $169.1 million globally.

April 2015
Al-Qubaisi and Al-Husseiny are fired from their positions at IPIC and Aabar in Abu Dhabi. Two months later Aabar Investments PJS, the look-alike company based in the British Virgin Islands used to transfer money into accounts held by Aziz, Low and Al-Qubaisi, is liquidated.

July 2015
With rumors circulating, Low is reported to have taken refuge in Taiwan, which has no extradition treaty with Malaysia or the U.S.

October 2015
Red Granite announces it is to develop a remake of the 1973 Steve McQueen classic Papillon.

February 2016
Tim Leissner, Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia chairman who became one of the company’s star bankers thanks to his work with the 1MDB investment fund, helping orchestrate the billion-dollar bond issues, steps down, relocating to Los Angeles with his wife, reality TV star and Russell Simmons’ ex Kimora Lee Simmons. Days after leaving Goldman Sachs, Leissner is reportedly issued a subpoena by prosecutors at the Department of Justice looking into the possible embezzlement of 1MDB funds.

May 2016
It is revealed that the FBI is investigating the properties in Beverly Hills and New York owned by Riza Aziz. Meanwhile, from a yacht at the Cannes Film Festival, Red Granite execs meet buyers to sell Papillon, now with Charlie Hunnam attached to star, and to discuss another major project in the pipeline, George Washington film The General.

July 20, 2016
The Department of Justice files the largest forfeiture complaint in U.S. history, citing $1 billion of assets owned by Low, Aziz and Al-Qubaisi, and the future profits of The Wolf of Wall Street. DiCaprio is referenced in the filings as “Hollywood Actor 1.”

A follow-up statement from Red Granite asserts that, to its knowledge, “none of the funding it received four years ago was in any way illegitimate and there is nothing in today’s civil lawsuit claiming that Red Granite knew otherwise.” It added that the company was cooperating with all inquiries and is “confident that when the facts come out, it will be clear that Riza Aziz and Red Granite did nothing wrong.”

end

Looking for MoF1, Malaysian Official 1…

https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.M9be9c9eedd13cd12b5b468fcfa60efdco1&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300

Nimoy is in search of MoF1, He-Who-Must-Not-Be Named.

mof1

He has tried asking:

mof2

Are you MoF1?

mof3

Everybody says No.  Even this man…

Is MoF1 Melayu or Cina? Or mamak?

mof4

Are you MoF1?

mof5

Are you?

mof6

Then came this…

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Why is it so hard to find MoF1?

mof9

(a) Not enough information… (b) going round in circles.

***


Some description might help find the guy

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*

mof8

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Or try Smoking out MoF1

Smoking Gun Exhibit A

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*

Smoking Gun Exhibit B

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Smoking Gun Exhibit C

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Smoking Bazooka Exhibit D

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Maybe a Quickie Quiz is quickest way…

A. Prime Minister
B. Finance Minister
C. 1MDB Advisory Chairman
D. Najib Razak
*
Choose one answer only.
3,230 votes10 hours left
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End of Search

 

Negara Travails: 1MDB, a Bangsa Conspiracy?

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See any yellow conspiracy, Madam? Maybe it’s Black.

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To Round the Circle

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A Full Account of Najib’s 1MDB Fraud

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Some preceding remarks.

This post has been fermenting in the hard-drive for weeks in spite of the Auditor General’s 1MDB report. There had been gaps, but these have just been filled in by the US Department of Justice. This is a tentative account, rendering in full from 2009 through 2015 that which is possible.

It still doesn’t preclude the necessity of a Commission to investigate 1MDB, without which 1MDB’s investigation by the US and other authorities would be dismissed as merely the result of some wayward company officials. You already see that excuse in this: ‘The government will cooperate with the US‘. But the government is the thief.

The diagrams offered below are not conjectures but drawn from available official and informal sources then updated by the Auditor General’s Report. Previous versions of these diagrams have appeared in this site in the past.

In their totality the diagrams show 1MDB wasn’t simply the work of some greedy people, which is the position of nearly all investigators, domestic and foreign. This position is false and grossly unjust to Malaysians. 1MDB was deliberately conceived with a systematic pattern to defraud the country, even the world.

Almost certainly, we’ll never see most of USD7-8 bn again; it’s as good as gone, despite the current efforts of authorities in the US and Singapore and Switzerland. You can infer that conclusion from the diagrams, especially the last two of the four presented below.

Few things are new from investigations at home and abroad, given in particular by the Auditor General Ambrin Buang.

  • Arul Kanda. Although he hasn’t any formal position in 1MDB between 2009 and 2014, Arul Kanda is equally liable for the fraud and theft. He was the key in constructing, throughout 2015, a facade of 1MDB’s innocence and especially in concealing more than USD3bn in payments from 1MDB to the dummy company Aabar Ltd BVI. On at least two occasions, he drafted fraudulent documents of 1MDB deals with Aabar Ltd and backdated them to make look like all was well and that monies were legitimately used. When presenting these papers to the Auditor General, for example, Aabar BVI had ceased to exist.
  • Jho Low. Although instrumental in Stage 1 of the Fraud (see diagram below) Low Taek Jho alias Jho Low isn’t some mastermind. He took his initial cut of USD700 mn in 2009 and 2010 from USD1 bn passed to PSI which, in turn, had received a further USD2bn from 2010 to 2012. That additional USD2 bn has since disappeared in New York, London and Switzerland, into properties, an aircraft, yachts, paintings and girls, all of which (the girls excepting) are now the subject of the US suit.
  • Aabar Ltd BVI. Low was brought back into the picture sometime between 2012 and 2014 when Stage 2 of the Fraud needed conduits to remit money into Malaysia, after the money had been passed to Aabar BVI from 1MDB. Stage 2 was conceived different and separate from Jho Low, Good Star and from the Saudis, PetroSaudi and PSI. Instead, the Abu Dhabi company IPIC was used as a cover, first to raise money, USD3.5bn in 2012, then to create the fraudulent Aabar BVI which received in total USD3-4bn, and after that a part of the third USD3bn bond issue.
  • Singapore. Upon arriving at Aabar BVI, the dummy’s role was fulfilled. Farther transfers fell on two parties, Jho Low being one through his company named Blackstone BVI. The other was Tanore Finance Corp which used the IPIC-owned bank Falcon. Most cash proceeds from Day One of the entire fraud eventually arrived in Singapore (mostly passing through Switzerland and BSI). From there, farther remittances, especially those to Najib, were made through the Singapore banks.
  • Najib Razak. His share of the entire 1MDB loot was relatively small at Stage 1, no more than USD200 mn of USD3 bn, after passing through some shady Saudi characters, Tarek Obaid and one supposed prince named Turki but elsewhere also referred to as Turkey. Stage 2 of the Fraud got Najib more than USD700 mn. Tanore and Blackstone were the conduits using banks in Singapore, BSI included but in particular Falcon which Khadem al-Qubaisi controlled but belongs to IPIC.
  • The Aabar Brothers. For Najib at least, 1MDB’s jv with IPIC was especially lucrative, more than with PetroSaudi. It wasn’t just more USD currency money but an international corporate cover. In contrast to Tarek and some shady desert prince, IPIC especially gave 1MDB two established corporate figures, Khadem and his subordinate Badawy al-Husseiny who (a) had management control of Falcon and (b) could establish the Aabar BVI without raising an alarm. When Arul Kanda showed the Auditor General the 1MDB deals and financial transactions with the faked Aabar, the latter seemed the least bit surprised: he didn’t even bother questioning the authenticity of the company.
  • Mastermind. Both the accusers and the defenders of Najib Razak threw up a number of excuses as the 1MDB fraud unwind and emerged. Among these, and these arguments survive to this day:

One, the good names of Najib Razak, the government of Malaysia, and 1MDB had been abused and fraudulently misused. In short, all three are innocent but exploited. This defense is still in use even by, for example, the Auditor General. Yet, all evidences say otherwise. Najib was right there from the start. There were the two fraudulent JVs done back-to-back, one closed, then came the next. Along with Tarek and the Turkey prince, Najib opened in the name of the Ministry of Finance a new JP Morgan Geneva account (below in Appendix) that also received monies from the PSI fraud. Then there is that letter (below in Appendix) from some HRH.

Two, if Najib hadn’t master-minded the fraud, then who drove the whole thing? Jho Low is the favorite target of Sarawak Report where Clare Rewcastle Brown has a strong distaste, dislike even, for Sarawak capitalists and landlords, many Chinese among them. Once her anti-Chinese racism caught on, and once it was used by the Zack Mohd Malaiyoos, by both bloggers (Firdaus Abdullah) and the Anglophile (Petra Kamarudin), Low became representative of a Chinese conspiracy, the Chinese acting in concert to subvert Malay ketuanan and overthrow a Malay government. And, of course, answer Firdaus, the poor, stupid Najib fell for it. [We, at shuzheng, will not tolerate this story line: it’s patently false and slanderous. Firdaus can go fuck his mother – after he’s done with Zack.]

  • Shahrol Halmi. Full name Shahrol Azral bin Ibrahim Halmi. Everywhere, since the TIA days, since 1MDB’s inception, and from US cities to Switzerland to Singapore, from one company to the next, from deal to deal, his name keeps popping up. He still holds an official government position and has an office next to Najib, right to this day.

***

A stage by stage conceptual account…

STAGE 1

mdb_phase1 pic

(Click on diagrams to enlarge or download, also reproduced below)

https://shuzheng.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/mdb_phase1-pic.jpg?w=500

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STAGE 2

mdb_phase2_A

https://shuzheng.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/mdb_phase2_a1.jpg?w=500

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STAGE 3

mdb_phase3

https://shuzheng.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/mdb_phase3.jpg?w=824&h=653

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LAST, STAGE 4

mdb_final stop

https://shuzheng.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/mdb_final-stop.jpg?w=500

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Appendix

At JP Morgan:

Welcome, Mr Razak. Opening an account with us? Just sign here, please….”

https://shuzheng.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/mdb_psi-bank-acct-jpmorgan.jpg?w=688&h=971

“If you need farther assistance, don’t hesitate to call us. We’re available 24-7.”

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To Najib

A Letter from ‘His Royal Highness’

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Conceptual Map of 1MDB Fraud, 2009 to 2015

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https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.Ma1f162f27e930eaaee984d586224ac86o0&pid=15.1&P=0&w=206&h=155

https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.M470ef79aae5b5f33092516af46a6ed98o0&pid=15.1&P=0&w=334&h=191

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The Proposed Commission

Mechanics and Functions of such Tribunal

*

Venue of hearings: Kuala Lumpur and/or Singapore and/or Hong Kong

Expected duration of hearings: Three to six months.

Proposed opening date of hearing: 2016 November

Nature of tribunal: Private and professional, its findings having no legal effect. English shall be the primary language used. All of the tribunal’s findings, conclusions, supporting documents, evidences, etc, shall be published in a bound report to be made publicly available without caveat. It may charge a price to cover production expenses. This is a cooperative endeavor.

Composition: Seven members headed by a Chairman, with a Deputy, minimum three legal/judicial officers with depth of experience; minimum two qualified, experienced accountants or such persons with an impeccable knowledge of and/or experience in accounting, international finance and banking. All members must be apolitical, holding no political office. Members are voluntarily recruited and accepted ex-gratia but billed expenses are supported. There are no nationality requisites.

Purpose: To inquire and to investigate into alleged improprieties, malfeasance, misappropriation or other such fraudulent conduct  in 1MDB by any person or persons from its inception in 2009 to the present.

Funding: Donations, private or public, acceptable organizations and any other such interested bodies, persons,  domestic or abroad.

Proposed organizing body/bodies and Secretariat support: Hakam, Bar Council, Bersih.

Terms of Reference:

1. To investigate the actual cumulative debt level incurred by 1MDB from year to year and to-date;

2. To investigate if professional audit of 1MDB had been carried out according to the law and professional-set rules;

3. To investigate the structure and operations of 1MDB’s organization, its purpose and objectives, roles of individual members, management and directors, and all other such persons related in whatever capacity, formal or informal, paid or unpaid;

4. To investigate 1MDB’s alleged influences asserted by, and on, parties or individuals, government or non-government, outside or inside, domestic as well as international, financial and non-financial;

5. To investigate the international conduct, including suspicion for money laundering, of 1MDB in all aspects of its operations, such as debt raising, borrowings, funding, joint-ventures, financial transactions;

6. To examine and investigate all pertinent documents related, directly or indirectly, to 1MDB, whether available in the public domain or otherwise, issued in Malaysia or outside, forged or real;

7. To investigate if the authorities have taken any action during its years of operations or attempted to made improvements when procedures, methods and regulations were compromised;

8. To investigate into the alleged interference by the government of Malaysia into the regulatory examination/investigation of 1MDB;

9. To take all available evidences and offer an opinion into the judgment of the Attorney General concerning anti-corruption investigations into 1MDB, the judgment of the Bank Negara Malaysia into the conduct of 1MDB foreign financial dealings, and the judgment of the Auditor General; and,

10. To offer a deeper probe than is available at present into all facets of 1MDB’s operations and using available evidences offer a definitive conclusion into alleged criminal acts, if any, whether inside 1MDB or outside.

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